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News Release

Jason Gardner Awarded 2018’s Jerry L. Johnson Award for Public Service

Release No.: 000004.19

AUBURN, January 8, 2019 – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Alabama today announced that Jason Gardner has been named 2018’s Jerry L. Johnson award winner. Gardner was recognized at the 76th Annual Alabama Association of Conservation Districts (AACD) Conference in Auburn, Alabama on November 12, 2018.

Jason Gardner Awarded 2018 Jerry L. Johnson Award.This award is given to an Alabama NRCS employee for “Excellence in Public Service through One’s Family, Employment, Profession and Community.” The nominated employee who exhibits the characteristics of Jerry Johnson’s spirit and concern for his family, fellow employees, the environment and his community will be recognized.

The award’s 13th recipient is known throughout his community as committed father, devoted husband and passionate missionary. Gardner, who has nurtured a career of helping people help the land in various roles within the Natural Resources Conservation Service, has made it his mission to touch the lives of orphans in Honduras. Since 2007, Gardner has donated his time and financial resources to Orphanage Emmanuel, which is home to approximately 600 children. He’s worked on several construction projects at the orphanage and has also supported teenage orphans who have relocated to the states to pursue better educational opportunities.

In 2016, Gardner traveled to Louisiana to assist with a Samaritan’s Purse mission trip following a hurricane and flooding to assist homeowners with recovery and repair of flooded homes. In his Auburn-Opelika community, Gardner spends time working in the My Jerusalem ministry that helps the poor and elderly, locally. He also serves by teaching Sunday School to ninth grade boys at his local church.

Rather it’s on the job, at home, in his community or at church, he brings initiative, enthusiasm, and vision to all his activities.  Last year, he served as President of the Alabama Chapter of the Alabama Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society.  Jason and his wife Felicia are the proud parents of three sons.

“Jason Gardner is the epitome of excellence. He has dedicated the decades to conservation and community service. The selection committee was proud to present him with this year’s award because he has without a doubt, positively impacted several lives in his community,” said Ben Malone, State Conservationist for NRCS Alabama.

For over 30 years, Jerry L. Johnson served conservation in Alabama. As NRCS State Staff Forester, he worked with the conservation partnership to assist landowners with natural resource concerns. His work and dedication positively impacted the forest, wildlife, and water resources of our state. He passed away on December 31, 2003 after a lengthy battle with cancer, only a few months after retiring from the agency. Nominations for the Jerry L. Johnson award are accepted each year in August.



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